tv Book Discussion on Primary Politics CSPAN March 28, 2016 9:28pm-10:14pm EDT
>> and i want to talk about the book "primary politics" everything you need to know about how america nominates its presidential candidates" every four years those who voted before in the primaries scratched their head at some point to say where did this crazy system come from? this book is an attempt to answer that question.
and every once in awhile this system breaks down with an old-fashioned contested primary. let me read you the beginning of the book. senator clinton walked into the small clients through where in one of her signature pantsuits. this was the the blue silk. may 22nd, 2008, in the home stretch of a race to the democratic nomination. along the way her sure-fire quest had run into a phenomenon the senator from illinois barack obama in to
watch the black community to rally to obama. like other bill richardson. yet despite many setbacks but that account was close to obama as she had a strong finish she had an argument from the election candidate but yet she needed the delegates. one week later hillary clinton ended her presidential race with a speech in front of hundreds of supporters in washington d.c.. hers was not the campaign that was the first door the
last to be entangled with the party nomination which is the topic of this book. >> so i will start by what i call the good old days. and what should be avoided at all cost. we forget some of our great presidents actually looking at conventions but those were not important at all. suppose for instance roosevelt and dwight d. as an hour found themselves in in the love the party nomination with the majority
of delegates there the similarities will end. there is little resemblance of days gone by. and roosevelts confusion in february of the year the convention ended roosevelts day momentum was a term that describes behavior at the convention itself. and mention eisenhower's reaction if howard baker had given up his job as majority leader of the senate for years before the presidential election?
end imagine and with that democratic primary race that two senior senators joe biden and chris dodd's hub logs 70 years where never seriously considered for the nomination because of the attention and energy by the former first lady in the first term african-american senator. sowed the electoral college is still very much the same as it has been but between 1968 and '72 the democratic party was part of the she huge reform system. in the proximate cause of
between 1832 and 68. we knew that nominating system. after that the world changed a change in denver in the for the republicans because in that period of time democrats were a strong party throughout the country with remains of the rubio coalition salon of legislatures where democratic control. so what happened in this period of time they passed laws with the primaries end so what we have is the transformation of the old system to the new system. the old system was a public
system. goldwater 1964 completely surprises by getting enough delegates even while rockefeller is winning primaries. it seems inconceivable today. so understanding that change talking about the features that has remained more or less the same to help us understand what it is about. first of all, let me say this is the system in which sequence matters. unlike any other election this is a series of elections.
but it is not quite straightforward. they are picking delegates for the convention and i will get to that in a minute. because it turns into a sequential contest. jimmy carter was the first candidate to get it. as far as sequence it is called sequence on strategy. there are campaign apparatus looking at this calendar what is the sequence of events? where might we lose into we
put together enough delegates for the convention? and into a surprise of skipjacks and who did not understand, he began by winning a surprise victory in the iowa caucuses. a lot of people ask why is i was at hand new hampshire first? it is just that in the old system it didn't matter because sequence to the matter. under the new rules a few things changed first of all, it was a process at the same time hit in the same place
and if they could indicate suddenly the sleepy iowa caucuses that used to elect to the county convention steadily were turned into the functional equivalent of a primate. reporters could go there and observe each caucus at 11:00 eastern standard time could declare a winner. jimmy carter got that. and he catapulted the iowa caucuses as the first important step. with a lot of reporters from around the world converged
on an iowa but the new hampshire primary has been first in the nation since 1911. nobody paid much attention and from time to time it was important so for instance harry truman did not do well in the new hampshire primary. and decided not to run for reelection. and then deciding not running for reelection. however that is closest some and that changes to use the
sequence. that matters is momentum. i write a lot of momentum that success or failure impacts boaters behavior. we will see in the morning of february 2nd to some republicans and some democrats will drop out of the race in say i cannot go on so that is the importance of momentum. as this moves on and instead of looking angelou one new hampshire or iowa they will start to pay a lot of attention to the delegate
count. since we cannot and split human beings the delegates are awarded sole mathematics plays a role. the rounding rule that plays in each state all the sudden makes a big difference. so look at 1980. to look at the sequence knew that some point the had to pay attention to who had the most delegates and reagan's friends in massachusetts did in the favor. tsa i'm sorry 76, 1980.
he will not do well in this state to be more of a massachusetts republican. but if massachusetts was the winner-take-all so the reagan people said to the legislature how about awarding your delegates proportionally? candidates who understand the campaigns have a huge of vantage. for instance, barack obama went right into new york state to target all african-american districts understanding correctly even
while hillary clinton was winning the home state of new york. this brings me to an important point. this is not a state-by-state contest. it is 435 congressional districts because that is where the delegates are awarded. you can go to the republican side with a winner-take-all this is how romney won in he was a strong enough candidate with enough backing with the state's he was losing she was picking up delegates.
if we end up with the tight race on the democratic or republican side we will start seeing delegate counts. that brings me to the near final chapter of the convention. every four years they also asked to conventions really matter? some years ago was giving a talk like this the audience was fairly elderly and said now i understand. i said what is that? i've understand why conventions aren't exciting anymore.
there were really exciting when i was a girl people would be gathered around a television or radio and listen to all four days. the reason they used to be exciting is that was the place all the neck and nations have taken place before because they did start to years before this is not a new phenomenon. by that convention but you could see what has been happening. into his surprise of the press corps there is a little bit of that relationship with the republican establishment to realize they have been taken over by the goldwater conservatives.
it remains a remarkable story of the old system. and mostly we think they don't and that is decided in the primary and historically to walk into its conventions they don't change very much the have three contested conventions in the post reform era the 76 republicans, the 80 democrats and 72 democrats. and each of those won the nomination because the delegates however it does not mean that a brokered
convention are completely gone. it depends what happens in the primary it is entirely possible nobody walks into their convention with the majority of delegates. it is entirely possible we split. then you have a brokered convention. the east to happen when those ballots were unusual but in those days they used to happen quite regularly. and that is why it doesn't happen anymore. so finally i had asked often
isn't there more rational way? what we have a national primary? it is smart ideas as a better way to do this in a simple answer is when it comes to the nomination process nobody is really in charge. in fact, those separate political bodies have something to say about the nomination but who are they? coming to the united states periodically have something to say about campaign finance reform, the rnc has a lot to say about this. 50 state committee's and for good measure 50 state
legislatures. will they all agree? no. [laughter] not that is not going to happen and they all have a piece so that is the fundamental problem why in 2016 you will see erase that is is as complex and differentiated as the united states of america. they q. i will take questions. >> was that early as system where they run not bound to
follow the primaries end now they are? to read that is the biggest change from 72. but the rules said the primary so with judge mcgovern won the popular vote it was accepted 50% would be governed. now there was a challenge because jesse jackson took that delegation that the results of the primary. and he had a delegation of the officials.
and it was over who would be seated. jackson won in mayor daley walked out of the convention. it was a good in the long run for george mcgovern but it shows how much things are changing. >> whether situations the primary one day for what they wanted to do? >> all the time. >> constantly. there'll the 16 primary is most recall beauty contest which means they had no bearing. once in a while most of those progressive states but by and large the primaries and the delegates were
even-handed. >> a lot of times iowa and new hampshire don't choose but sometimes it is florida. and how much of an impact. [inaudible] that is a really good question. first of all, they almost always reduce the field by a couple. believe we have worked for candidates to the next day drop out. [laughter] and though seven out of the race the day after i a lot.
-- i want. iowa. but in their early contest and a question of expectation so the winner of new hampshire isn't the winner of the popular vote. 1992 bill clinton may be the worse than to the dope smoking draft dodging womanizer. [laughter] that is how he is perceived. he comes in second to paul tsongas so the ideas and a neighboring state.
into finished a strong second. and with the comeback kid. so let's go to the new hampshire primary. and then look at the polls from what we expect to happen to have a big impact on the candidate how it is received by the press and the voters. so we can see all sorts of shifting in the race with the expectations. remember their delegates still matter and out all.
the color of the sky. and they have been agreeing. and now what february looks like now of super tuesday of big delegate count. so the day after super tuesday we will see a lot what it looks like. and as we move into april in the race is moved to the populous states there is another delegate count. somewhere between march march 1st in april 15 we have a good sense of who is
then and then the third-place candidate given for the cut antipathy you can see the coalition a lot of anger than devotion that is what used to happen in the old days. the important thing that i believe is the first ballot vote then is said to everybody is negotiating skills. >> imus the first parcel apologize but personally i will tell you how relieved i am because i am from california.
we have 13 percent of the nation's population we have 55 of the 200 votes and five vote has never counted. and i have gray hair. the primary is always in june. then we're hoping to have some influence but it was over then. >> so every june comes around we go to cast a vote but it is completely irrelevant then we go to the general election it doesn't matter if you're a democratic or republican i feel like i can never casting meaningful vote. i am mad about it.
>> you are right. welcome to washington d.c. [laughter] o lot of states have no say because they are so polarized to be in to read states or blue states. it is surprising how homogeneous we have become by geography. the problem is is has always been sequential. if you switched to a national primary everybody was spent time in california of course, to get the plurality you go to the most populist state you be in california texas florida
york some of the bigger states around the great lakes. or if you changed the electoral college. select jurors awarded to the national vote. this is an intriguing idea because each state could decide to give there two votes to the winner of the national vote then suddenly people would go to california because they want that but it is interesting and the nomination process we don't have a direct vote. in one instance through delegates were electors. when they teach the presidential elections
course i show photographs a video of the meeting of the lack doors in 2012. but they are real people real live individual people who go to the state legislature as the founding fathers predicted in sign affidavits and send them to the senate's and the president reads them out and how the system works. after reporting for cbs midyears wrote a novel that was not a best seller by that it was interesting. about a presidential candidate who died in between election day and the meeting of the electoral college. he was not officially president so the vice
president could not succeed and the running mate was a doofus with problems in people were not happy with him. en this plays out in the electoral college where it matters then it is like a brokered convention when these days he go to the convention it is boring you stand there with your sine. it to you when to waive the signing and use your friends. imagine a brokered convention as an electoral college. >> what effect you see those
voter identification lois? with the primaries in the general election? >> it depends on how they're implemented or how well people understand them. i suspect the democratic party is monitoring to have the lawyers ready to look in the general election. with the primaries i am not sure they will have the infrastructure but both national political parties have done a job to monitor elections in the state and possible infractions of civil rights.
i think both parties are ready for this. >> one more thing. [laughter] it occurred to me. another thing that happens in california because we're three hours behind. the presidential race at about five or 6:00 p.m. so that means many people decide not to go to the polls also governor is state senator in council members so all elections are distorted for those of us on the west coast worse as the presidency which they are most interested in. >> i know how you fix the
time zone problem. >> electoral college is the way it is because when the 13 colonies wrote the constitution they knew they had to reflect the population to allow each state to have a number of congressional districts plus the two senators. solos are worth six and a thousand people per electoral vote. 55 is her the population but
they did that for two reasons for the swing states but also remember they were elitist and they didn't quite trust the population. so they said what the legislatures so the whole idea of the electoral college was there might be a vote but the states would really do it why to this day you meet in the state capital they sign the affidavit and send it to the senate to reelect the president. but back then they were afraid of the mob. if you remember the original constitution had u.s. senators elected not by popular vote. this starts to break down
the election of 1824 been injured jackson is dramatically changes all of the assumptions about the people into the role but our founding fathers would with all their wisdom were little nervous about actual voters. [laughter] >> how are convention delegates chosen? >> first of all, it is different. generally there are two methods. usually you have the primary than sometime later in the month or two, there'll be conventions in the congressional district and
people will go to the conventions and vote for the individuals to be delegates to represent the presidential candidate perot if hillary clinton gets three delegates every sanders gets three delegates then they meet in a caucus and they will pick the individual to go to the convention. and there are participants that tend to be activist elected officials. sometimes they will do well before the primary with the potential delegates but the selection of process generally a separate from